Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What services does the Table Tennis Club of Indianapolis offer?
Answer: We offer quite a range of services, inlcuding:
  • Open play
  • League play
  • Tournaments
  • Table tennis equipment (paddles, blades, rubber, balls, clothing, etc.)
  • Coaching, in the form of clinics and private lessons.
  • Robot practice
  • Question: How does open play work? Do I need to bring someone to play against?
    Answer: Come by yourself or with a friend. Open play is very unstructured. But remember - the idea is to play against a wide variety of people, so don't plan on playing only against people you know. Typically, you would call "winners" on a table. Or, you can simply ask someone if they are interested in a match. However - we recognize that the first few times you come you may be uncomfortable using either of these approaches, so let us help. Tell the person at the front desk that you would like some help arranging matches. We will try to set up a variety of matches, so that you can play against different styles and skill levels. After you play a couple matches, we will have a better idea of your level of play, and we can then make some suggestions as to which players you might enjoy competing with.

    Also, there are often pick-up doubles matches being played during open play. Feel free to ask us to help you set up a doubles match, or just ask around to see who is interested.

    Question:How does league play work?
    Answer:Our leagues typically consist of 6 teams with 4 players on each team. The players are grouped into "Divisions" based on skill. Each team has a player from each division.

    During league play, each player will play 3 singles and 1 doubles match. Each game is played to 11 points. A "match" is the best of 5 games. The team that wins the most matches (out of a total of 14) wins the "tie" for the night. At the end of the league, trophies are awarded to the division winners, as well as the team members of the winning teams.

    League players commit to playing every week for the duration of the league. Of course, there may be times a player cannot play, but these should be the exception. As a league player, you are agreeing to pay for the night's play every week, even if you are unable to attend - much like leagues in other sports (e.g., bowling). Because it is so important that players attend as many league nights as possible, we look for dependable players when we are starting a new league. So, if you are interested in playing in a league, we would suggest you establish yourself by playing at the club regularly. Perhaps the best way is to come often on a Thursday night. If we have players who did not show up, we will try to play you as a sub. If not, we will make sure you get plenty of open play - we have a table set aside strictly for open play on league nights.

    Question:How long are the leagues?
    Answer: Monday Night League varies from 8 - 10 weeks in length. Thursday Night League is 11 weeks in duration. During the summer months the structure and length of leagues may vary.

    Question: Are there any rules I should be aware of? Any rules that are different than my buddies and I use?
    Answer:We can't be sure what rules you use, but here are some rules that many people are not aware of:
  • Games are played to 11 points. Until a couple years ago, all games were played to 21 points. Now, games are played to 11. Matches can be any odd number, but we typically play best of 5 games. That is, the first player to win 3 games wins the match.
  • Each player serves 2 points and then the other player serves. When the games were played to 21 points, each player served 5 points. Now we serve 2 points. When the score reaches 10-10 ("deuce"), each player serves only 1 point until one of the players is 2 points ahead.
  • The serve must start from an open palm. This is the one new players typically have the most trouble with. In the basement, pretty much any thing goes, as far as serving. But at the club and tournament levels there are stricter requirements on the serve. The serve must start with the ball on a stationary, open palm, behind the end line. The ball must be visible to your opponent throughout the serve. You must toss the ball nearly straight up, at least 6 inches. You must hit the ball on the way down. (That is, you cannot throw the ball into the paddle.) If you have any doubts about whether or not your serve is legal, ask around. Most players will be happy to show you which parts of your serve are or are not legal.

  • Question: I am using an old paddle and would like to buy a new one. But I don't know what I should get. Can you help?
    Answer: Absolutely. There are many different blades and a wide assortment of rubbers on the market today. So many, in fact, that it can be quite confusing trying to decide what to buy. It is important to match your blade and rubber with your playing style. Because of this, it is a good idea to mention BEFORE you start playing that you are thinking about new equipment and want some help. Ask us to watch you play. Knowing your style and level of play will help us make some suggestions as to what you might consider buying.

    Send any additional questions to
    or call (317) 895-8394

    Last Updated: 07-27-2006